HollywoodChicago.com RSS   Facebook   HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter   Free Giveaway E-mail   

‘Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day’ as Rare as Boobs Without Silicone in Hollywood

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionE-mail page to friendE-mail page to friendPDF versionPDF version
Average: 4.9 (11 votes)

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4/5CHICAGO – Character comedies that actually have some depth and fun are as rare as boobs without silicone in Hollywood. “Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day” reaches these heights with a sensibility of an old studio picture with stylized glamour, lovable rogues and at the center the great Frances McDormand as the title character taking a chance in 24 sparkling and event-filled hours.

Amy Adams and Lee Pace in Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day
Amy Adams and Lee Pace in “Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day”.
Photo credit: IMDb

McDormand is Miss Pettigrew: a proper governess in late 1930s London who can’t keep a job because of her stubborn propriety. When the agency that sponsors her refuses to give another reference, Pettigrew takes matters into her own hands by stealing a job posting.

She shows up to begin her situation as a “social secretary” to up-and-coming American actress Delysia Lafosse (the luminous Amy Adams).

Lafosse’s life is a whirl of social and performing opportunities. She has taken up residence with Nick (Mark Strong): a Humphrey Bogart-like nightclub owner where Lafosse is a singer.

Frances McDormand in Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day
Frances McDormand in “Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day”.
Photo credit: IMDb

She has spent the night with Phil (Tom Payne) – a producer who can give her a career-making part in his new play – and she professes love for Michael (Lee Pace): her piano accompanist with the golden fingers.

Enter Miss Pettigrew. She is capably able to balance in one crazy day all the screwball zaniness in Lafosse’s life while simultaneously providing wisdom and joy to the actresses’ friends, lovers and ultimately herself.

Taking a page from the style of past comedy masters Ernst Lubitsch and Preston Sturges, director Bharat Nalluri imbues Miss Pettigrew with a cheery comedic atmosphere that enhances the witty script and allows the characters to uplift the proceedings with their foibles and motivations.

Amy Adams in Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day
Amy Adams in “Miss Pettigrew Lives For a
Day”.
Photo credit: IMDb

Amy Adams stands front and center yet again with her daffy actress Lafosse while also succinctly realizing the downside of the character’s questionable ambitions.

Her climatic rendition of the classic song “If I Didn’t Care” allows for a deep breath of beauty and truth in her performance. It also makes her potential redemption all the more palpable.

McDormand yet again reminds us of her preeminence as one of the industry’s finest character actors. She portrays as much of the inner conflict in Miss Pettigrew as she does in her role as a social secretary and comic advisor with just enough secrecy to allow her reality to make sense.

This is a true balancing act and an endearing interpretation especially as those secrets are revealed.

I hesitate to call this a “grown-up film” as the themes play out universally. Amy Adams is similarly just as good if not better as she was in the crowd pleaser “Enchanted”.

This is just great filmmaking that’s accented with humor, profundity and even romance in representing the adage “what a difference a day makes”. Please work for me, Miss Pettigrew. I need you.

“Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day” opens on March 7, 2008 in limited U.S. theaters.

Click here for our full “Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day” image gallery!

HollywoodChicago.com staff writer Patrick McDonald

By PATRICK McDONALD
Staff Writer
HollywoodChicago.com
pat@hollywoodchicago.com

© 2008 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent spam submissions.
* five = ten
Solve this math question and enter the solution with digits. E.g. for "two plus four = ?" enter "6".

User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing

TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Everybody, Brown Paper Box Co

    CHICAGO – When is the last time a stage play, based in an intimate setting, made you think about your life, death, and the destiny inherent in both? “Everybody,” staged by Brown Paper Box Co. (BPBCo), is such a play, and the energetic aura and sense of surprise that the show contains is soul soothing wonder. The show has various evening/matinee performances at the Pride Arts Center in Chicago run through August 12, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Not One Batu

    CHICAGO – The State of Hawaii may be one of the most misunderstood in America. Because of its reputation as a tourist mecca, the fact that native peoples live and work there like any other place is hard to imagine. Also unimaginable is the drug use of island residents, but playwright and Hawaiian native Hannah li-Epstein wrote about it in her stage play “Not One Batu,” now in its Premiere Chicago run at the Berger Park Coach House through July 28th, 2018. For more information, including tickets, click here.

Advertisement



HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter

archive

HollywoodChicago.com Top Ten Discussions
referendum
tracker